Meet Sung Park: 2013 Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest Winner

2013 Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest winner Sung Park poses with contest partner Brian Matt and contest judges.
2013 Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest winner Sung Park poses with contest partner Brian Matt and contest judges.

This year’s Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest is underway and we’re looking to the best and brightest—YOU!—for new fundraising ideas.

It’s simple: think of a new fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund—it can be an event, app, corporate program, viral campaign, or more. Then, submit your idea for a chance to be mentored by a prominent CEO and win fabulous prizes.

If you’re having trouble brainstorming a Big Idea, here’s a little inspiration:

In 2013, Sung Park became our very first Big Ideas Contest winner, beating out more than 150 ideas from 10 different states with “Coins to Cure Cancer”—patented, free-standing collection canisters that make it easy for customers to contribute change and bills to the Jimmy Fund. Today, the canisters sit on lane dividers at Walgreens, Burger King, The Paper Store, and Showcase Cinema locations throughout New England, as well as at Jimmy Fund events and at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

We recently sat down with Sung to get inside the mind of a Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest innovator:

Q: How did you come up with the “Coins to Cure Cancer” concept?
A: The idea came about from traveling quite a bit and having to go through airport security and never having a good place to put my change.

Q: Tell us about your experience being mentored by a national CEO.
A: Paul Fireman [Founder, Reebok] couldn’t have been more helpful. He not only helped me think through the product idea but also connected me with people to implement the idea.

Q: What was it like presenting to the panel of judges during the live event?
A: It was really fun—the judges are incredibly friendly and supportive. They are there to support you and your ideas.

Q: One of the prizes was getting to throw out the first pitch at the Red Sox

Sung's son, Spencer, on the field at Gillette Stadium
Sung’s son, Spencer, on the field at Gillette Stadium

game– tell us about that experience!
A: I actually let Brian (my Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest partner) throw out the first pitch. It has always been on his bucket list. Another prize was on-field access prior to a New England Patriots game—my son went on the field and he still says that was one of the best experiences of his life.

Q: What “words of wisdom” would you offer to this year’s Jimmy Fund Big Ideas participants?
A: Have fun with it! It is for a GREAT cause and your ideas can help make the world a better place.

For more advice on forming your Big Idea, read these recommendations from Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest judge, Bill Fine, President and General Manager, WCVB-TV/Channel 5.

So, are YOU ready to be the next Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest winner? Submit your idea by April 26 for the chance to win fabulous prizes, be mentored by a national CEO, and help conquer cancer!

Laura Shannon
Assistant Director, Development Communications